Road works

For those who don’t live in Joburg or Pretoria. There are massive roadworks on the highways. They are putting in more lanes as the existing ones can’t handle the amount of cars and trucks. Something need to be done, but is this the way to go? I don’t think so. Most cars only have the driver inside it. We are just going to fill those lanes as well. The Gautrain is a step in the right direction, but we need more, as this will only be convenient for some. The South African middle class mindset also need to change. Public transport is not an evil thing. I would rather have a cup of coffee and read the newspaper, than inch along while cursing at the car in front of me. Today it took 75 minutes to go from Randburg to Benoni. That was at midday, not rush hour.

I lived there for a number of years. Although current traffic cannot be compared to what it was 5 years ago, it was still hell to go from one client to the next. Not to mention rush hour traffic.

Should a safe alternative be found, things may improve. That, combined with toll gates at every entrance to the city and surrounding areas (like London), and the mindset might change.

won’t more lanes on the highways cause more cars? I mean if people stay off the highways due to the congestion, surely relieveing the congestion will cause more people to use them. I’m all for taking the cars out of the suburbs and having them on the highways but it only seems like a temporary solution.
i think the government should improve our rail services, and then tax road freight. this would force more people to transport cargo by rail, think of how many trucks you would take off the N3 and N1 from our main ports if there were three to four trains a day instead. one train can carry the same amount of cargo that 150 trucks can, at less cost. there would be fewer road accidents as a result of poorly maintained trucks, tired drivers and negligent drivers, and the damage to our roads would be less which would again save money.
As far as public transport goes, our major cities like johannesburg and pretoria need an underground system. the Gautrain is a waste of time, as, once people travel from pretoria to johannesburg, how do they get fromt he gautrain station to their office? walk and get mugged? local train and get mugged? taxi and get injured in an accident? private taxi and pay through the nose? the traffic problem between pretoria and johannesburg is minor compared to the traffic problems within the two cities. if there were decent suburban rail networks then people would not have to commute from the outer suburbs to the various CBD’s, we have the technology to do massive underground boring and construction what with all our mining engineers in this country, why did they waste the money on a train that is not going to be used by the market it was initially designed for, when they could have put in smaller subterranean links under the two cities. i only see the gautrain layout becomming effective once it is linked to such a system.
your thoughts?

I think your Gautrain ticket will include your taxi ride. I read this somewhere, don’t know if it is true. Hopefully it will be a better class taxi than a normal minibus, otherwise you are right, it will be a waste of time/money. What we really need is a “beam me up Scotty” machine. :slight_smile: A road freight tax make sense to me - get the trucks off the road!

The Gautrain will also be supported by an upgraded bus system -

I have been commuting between Pta and Jhb for just over 5 years now (please do not ask me why, my therapist advised me to not ever think about that ;)_I drive there everyday alone in my vehicle because I visit clients throughout the day. The only way public transport can work for me would be a third car that I can use to commute from home to the station, leave it there, commute to my office, get my car, do my thing and tonight reverse it. From chatting with a lot of collegues who do similar, I can tell you that the majority of cars on this road everyday during peak hours are those who need the vehicle as well during the day.

I am no so sure I agree with the argument that more lanes will just be filled by more cars. Peak hours you will only find the odd guy who planned a meeting very badly also on the road, the rest are the commuters. Our numbers do grow but having recently driven on a five km stretch of the new four lane section I can tell you it is a huge improvement. If the whole highway can be like that I think peak hour would again move faster than 40km/h.

Capacity wise even with the new expansion that road will still be undre pressure. I guess us regular users would just be greatfull if we know that we will keep our commute under two hours in peak. For those who do not know, the peak commute time at present is two and half hours. I checked it against cities like NY etc, and we have one of the highest commute times in the world if you do the Pta Jhb thing.


Quite apart from the actual Gautrain, I think most of us are waiting breathlessly for the connection network.

Using one integrated public transport ticket, commuters can change services between Metrorail train and Gautrain. Alternatively, commuters can make use of 125 luxury Gautrain buses that provides transport to destinations within a 15 kilometer radius.[2]
The cost of traveling to a station with the Gautrain Bus Link will be between R4.00 and R11.00.[26]
Theoretically, it may be possible to make use of the Gautrain buses to get from point A to B, even if you don't actually use the Gautrain, because the Gautrain bus stops will surely be spread across prominent areas/addresses and could potentially service thousands of passengers who would otherwise have to get into their cars and drive 5 or 10km to work BECAUSE there is no other public transport. That way, we can leave the highway to you poor okes who have to use it during the day!

Once the pressure on the feeders to the highways is reduced, plus the Gautrain service for genuine “commuters”, the pressure on the national roads should be relieved.

Don’t only build broader highways: it is just as important to sort out the feeders!

The N1 between Pretoria and Johannesburg is apparently by far the busiest stretch of road in the southern hemisphere as measured by the overall average number of cars that pass both ways per hour. This is put in some perspective when one considers that it beats the great cities in Australia and Brazil.